Finding Happiness Through Suffering: 8 Ways To Find Light in the Darkness
The journey of life can feature mountain peaks of happiness and valleys of suffering. Unfortunately the moments of happiness tend to be fleeting and the moments of suffering seem to go on for forever. Did you know that it is possible to find happiness through suffering without having to look up at the next mountain peak you’re trying to climb? The key to finding happiness through suffering is to actively seek out contentment.
Being content in difficult times can be extremely hard to do. How is it possible to give thanks in the darkest of times? Here are some methods that have been proven to work.
#1. Stop comparing your life to the lives of others around you. When you’re in a deep valley and you see someone up at the summit of a mountain experiencing joy, it can hurt. A lot. You want to be on that summit of joy as well, right? The problem is that in looking at the lives of others, we’re missing the perfect moments that are surrounding us right now. By actively seeking the extraordinary when we feel like we are having an ordinary day, it becomes easier to be content in any circumstance that is faced.
#2. Strength is created through overcoming adversity. One common phrase we like to tell each other in the dark times is that “What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.” Although that’s a hollow platitude when we’re in our darkest hours, there is some truth to those words.
- Parents who have lost children to cancer become strong enough to help other parents in a similar situation.
- Widows can console other widows.
- Bullied children can become a counseling resource for kids who feel like they don’t fit in.
The experience of adversity is what creates the strength, especially when we find a way to blaze a trail through it.
#3. Little things are still able to bring you some joy. Imagine being in a dark room for longer than you remember. You’re hungry, tired, thirsty, and ready for the physical suffering to end. Loneliness, confusion, and perhaps anger are present as well, creating the circumstances of emotional suffering. Just a drop of water, a bite to eat, or some sunshine on your face will grant a respite and that brings joy. Even on the worst of worst days, if you can bring yourself toward something that you love, then a moment of joy can relieve the suffering. Those perfect moments eventually add up and bring you one step closer to the next mountain summit.
#4. Fate isn’t in control of your life. When we are encountering a valley of suffering, the typical question asked is this: Why? There really is no good answer to that question. We all ask it because we want a tangible explanation for our circumstances. If we get facts, then we can get out of the valley more quickly – at least that’s the theory. In reality, it is you who are in control of how you feel and what you want to do. External factors can try to affect your joy, but you either choose to allow those factors to influence you or to ignore them. Happiness is a choice that you can always make.